But do you know, where it comes from? OK, but do you know, when did this sweet, pamperish brown thing come to Europe? And do you know, there is also a bitter side of chocolate?
There is a cute little temporary exhibition – coming to an end – in Museum of Recent History Celje exactly on this – chocolate! It covers the where from’s and how’s, also the first beginnings in Europe, the history of the cocoa tree, the first producers and products, and much more, neatly spiced up with history. They did not overlook the dark side of the chocolate industry over the years and the environmental and social questions it raises either.
Smartly divided into four parts, it offers a light walk through, or a more detailed and educational impact, if desired. First part is slightly more dedicated to theory and informational part, nicely wrapped into giant packets of chocolates, which makes it pleasant to an eye. As a matter of fact, the entire exhibition design is pleasant to an eye and nose – the scent of chocolate surrounds you as entering the exhibition. Beware – it might awake the desire and cravings for … chocolate!
However, to continue with the exhibition division – the next part presents some national and local chocolate producers, nostalgic commercials and a large photo wall, which is supposed to invite the visitors to take selfies. Of course, also the selfie stick is there and some printed photos of smiling selfies, posted on museum’s Facebook – unfortunately not many. Maybe a photo wall with a hint of silliness would do the trick, but still it harms no one by being there.
I was particularly interested in the third part, where invited artists have interpreted chocolate in their own way. My attention was raised by Sweet dilemma by Suzana Švent – a set of figurines made out of chocolate with a help of balloons, placed on a mirror and there for the visitors to decide, whether they would like to enjoy the art, or rather the taste, while seeing themselves eating it. Apparently, there was no dilemma at all – the sculptures were long gone before I came.
The exhibition is concluded with a recipe room, where pre-gathered popular people’s recipes greeted me from the walls. Gathering the recipes was also used as a dissemination tool before the exhibition, which worked very well. Smart. The exhibition space unfortunately dictates the visitor to return the same way as coming in, and usually this is slightly inconvenient – especially, if the visitors are not motivated by any extra planned and placed scenographical nudges. However, in this case I realised how many things have I missed on my way in – the sayings, the UNRA package, which also contained chocolate, all those little details. Therefore, going in and out on the same path represents no problem at all.
It is a sweet, easy and pleasant exhibition for a nice afternoon leisure walk and a good introduction and motivation to stop for a cup of hot chocolate later in the nearest café. And since it’s closing in three days – the ones, who have not seen it yet – hurry up.